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Dikeledi follows the story of a young teenage girl who leads her household with two brothers when her mother suddenly dies. Dikeledi is a profound coming-of-age story that shows the triumph of the human spirit!
Sabata-mpho Mokae writes in two languages: English and Setswana. He is the author of the biography The Story of Sol T Plaatje, the novella Dikeledi and a poetry collection, Escaping Trauma. His debut novel Ga Ke Modisa (I’m Not My Brother’s Keeper) won the M-Net Literary Award for Best Novel in Setswana as well as the M-Net Film Award in 2013. He also won the South African Literary Award in 2011. His short story Down Sol Plaatje Drive was performed on theatre stage during the Global Express in Iowa City, USA in 2014. His latest book Kanakotsame: In My Times, a collection of short fiction pieces, was launched in 2015.
Sabata holds an MA degree in Creative Writing from Rhodes University. In 2014 he was a writer-in-residence at the University of Iowa, where he was also awarded honorary fellowship. He lectures in creative writing at the Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley, South Africa.
Sarcophagus is a novella which follows the trials and tribulations of a poor family that experiences one tragedy after another. The story is narrated by a nameless, faceless narrator. Telling this story to a young boy who seems to be in a hurry to get somewhere and keeps asking the narrator to please finish. The setting is a village called Sekhing, a real village in the North West province. The family is comprised of five members: mom, dad and three children. The father is a migrant labourer and spends the majority of his time away from home. He dies fairly early in the story, and his older son steps up, against his mother’s objections, and becomes the breadwinner. Things go downhill very quickly from this point. The young breadwinner struggles to cope with his responsibilities, the mother suffers depression and the younger boy runs away from home. In the end the pain becomes too much and the mother kills herself and her youngest child. There is an interesting surprise in the ending. The narrator reveals the reason why he has chosen to tell him the story of that family, and it is a nice plot twist.